"'Whimsical.' The word is 'whimsical.'" Hmm. That might be the word. It's hard to articulate exactly why the performances and sensibility here feel so tuned to the wrong dial. There are a moments, like a ten minute phone call in a hotel room, that recall vintage Cameron Crowe. But unlike Cusack or Cruise, Orlando Bloom reads as impassive and un-American in a role that desperately calls for some boy next door charm.
A Frank Capra picture for 2005—a suicidal Drew Bailey directly references It's a Wonderful Life's George Bailey, with Claire standing in for Clarence. While flogged for being overstuffed and sentimental, I miss when Cameron Crowe made long films, giving secondary characters their own respective arcs. The cathartic and concise finale belongs to Old Hollywood, and works precisely because of its fully sketched ensemble.
Excruciatingly kooky and whimsical, the film's desperate attempts to get us to ponder the wonders of love, life, death, family relationships and personal growth are truly irritating and woefully misjudged. Cameron Crowe + big ideas = disaster.
I love this hugely underrated film. It drifts from scene to scene, through a beautiful medley of country and piano melody. I agree, the characters aren't realistic - they seem to be more like personifications. Bloom's nihilism weaves through the compassionate, romantic-optimist Dunst. When all purpose is lost and we're doomed, falling in love with optimism is the only way to stay alive. Best romcom of the 2000s.
Cameron Crowe has an idea for a movie and pukes it into existence without interrogating anything in the process, resulting in a woeful movie that plays out in a world whose societal, interpersonal, and personal interactions are beholden to the hastily-constructed laws of the first draft.
No one can put music to images quite like Cameron Crowe. But these wonderful fleeting moments should be confined to music videos. Elizabethtown is now a curious artefact from the whimsical Garden State-era of indie filmmaking. It could be a great road trip movie, romance, or family drama, but by combining all of these, Crowe's film amounts to nothing. It's fine, and I guess someone has to make these movies.
Small town values versus corporate values. When you've just lost the company a billion $ and your dad has unexpectedly died, who do you turn to? Not to Ghost Busters, but all those quirky friends and relations who love you. Only 4 stars as this warm and life-enhancing film is so laid back that it occasionally lacks pace, but its definitely a keeper. Great chemistry between the main players.